Here is an article by Joe Mandese from August 23, 2006 with some very interesting information regarding the future of Internet Yellow Pages. The one particular quote that I find most interesting is:
But the most surprising finding in the new report is the attitude Yellow Pages users have toward advertising. Unlike most media where advertising is deemed “clutter,” most Yellow Pages consumers consider it “content.” In fact, 18 percent of the 9,078 consumers surveyed by KN/SRI said they wanted more ads in their Yellow Pages directories.
Now before all the Google crazed people email about Google taking over the world and IYP going by the wayside – I want you to consider one very important point. Google is not about collecting and building content – remember, Google is great at indexing content. Google’s job is to redirect traffic to the places where the content resides. If this is not the case, than I really question why I spend a lot of time optimizing web sites.
What does the IYP industry have – local content, plain and simple. Google and the IYP’s go together like peas and carrots – they both need each other. This is the main reason why Google partners with IYP companies to provide much of its local data. Here are some screenshots from Google UK, Google Canada and Google Earth.
Google UK – Results Provided by Yell.com
Google Canada – Results Provided by YellowPages.ca
Google Earth – Canada Search – as Above
Read the rest of the article “Web Fuels Yellow Pages Growth, Medium Deemed Too ‘Uncluttered’.
Just finished reading an article on the GlobeandMail.com titled, Canadians logging on for daily news.
Here is an except from the article:
The Internet is changing the way Canadians access their daily news and do their banking, according to a government survey that suggests a crisp morning paper and a stroll to the local branch to pay bills is becoming a thing of the past.
A Statistics Canada study of Internet use shows that roughly 60 per cent of Canadians web users banked and received their news and sports reports on-line in 2005. However, even as people grew more comfortable on the Internet, three-quarters said they had strong concerns about privacy and security.
This also related to a recent post I had titled – Newspaper Online Ad Revenue Surges 35%.
What does all this mean?
We are starting to see the real signs that people will stop talking about the “Internet” and it is becoming part of our daily lives. I don’t remember when TV’s or the Stove first burst on the scene, but like those devices once the novelty wore off, they become appliances. I believe we are now seeing the real signs that the Internet is going to become an appliance – it will be the way we live.
What this means for local businesses is that you need to start thinking about how you will be part of this future appliance. How will your future customers find you, interact with you and conduct business with you. This is not to say that you won’t have a storefront, nor staff, inventory, etc. but that the way you will gain new customers will change.
Think about it for a second.
There was a point in time that spending money advertising in the newspapers was considered a waste of time – yet today in 2006 there are businesses who spend 80-95% of their budget there. If it is working, good for you, but think of the opportunity cost by not advertising on the local newspapers web site?
As a local business you need to start collecting this information, tracking what works and what does not work to maintain a competitive advantage, because once the tide shifts you could be forced into playing a touch game of catch-up.